Dec 09 2008

What will Obama do to forestall a nuclear Iran?

Category: Iran,national security,Obamaharmonicminer @ 8:25 pm

A couple years ago there were speculations in many quarters that George Bush would not allow a nuclear Iran. I read more than one column suggesting that he would take military action against Iran’s nuclear program, sometime before the end of his presidency, especially if a Democrat was elected. That seems less and less likely, based on any reasonable reading of the tea leaves. If he still plans such a thing, it is the best kept secret of his administration.

So, what will Obama do to stop Iran from getting the bomb? Make no mistake: if Iran has the bomb, the world is changed, hugely. When Iran has the bomb, we won’t know which terrorist organization has been given the bomb. We won’t know when or if Iran plans to destroy Israel, even at the price of the enormous retaliation that would follow. Iran will surely shake its nuclear stick at Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, et. al., and Iran probably has, or will have soon, missiles capable of reaching large parts of Europe.  Within 10-20 years, it is likely to have missiles that can reach the USA.

Even more concerning, if terrorists got a nuke from Iran and destroyed a US city, how would we prove the origin of the nuke? Would our response be paralyzed?

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Dec 09 2008

A nation of pistoleros? Well, maybe.

Category: guns,Islam,terrorismharmonicminer @ 10:16 am

Knowing my neighbors, it might be good not to try to stage a terrorist takeover in my town.   But there are lots of “gun free” zones in Los Angeles, meaning that only criminals have guns.

Of Arms and the Law: Massacre in Mumbai

It’s hard to envision hundreds of American civilians or dozens police standing by while four guys shot up a hotel full of people, encountering no resistance.

Continue reading “A nation of pistoleros? Well, maybe.”

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Dec 09 2008

When the feds take over McDonalds, will they serve fried rice?

Category: economyharmonicminer @ 9:44 am

News Analysis – Washington Takes Risks With Its Auto Bailout Plans –

In the short term, Democrats are floating the idea of linking $15 billion in immediate loans to the designation of a “car czar” who, in doling out the money, could require or veto big transactions or investments — essentially a one-man board of directors. The White House indicates that President Bush, who has spent his entire presidency proclaiming that the government’s role is to create an environment that spurs free enterprise and minimizes government regulation, would very likely sign the rescue plan.

The first $15 billion and the car czar who oversees it, however, are only the beginning. “After that, we’re in uncharted water,” said Malcolm S. Salter, a professor emeritus at Harvard Business School who has studied the auto industry for two decades and, until a few years ago, was an adviser to General Motors and Ford. “Think about this: Who in the federal government would have the tremendous insight needed to fix this industry?”

Depending on how the longer-term revamping of the industry proceeds, Washington could become a major shareholder in the Big Three, it could provide loans, or, in one course that Mr. Obama seemed to hint at on Sunday, it could organize what amounts to a “structured bankruptcy.” In that case, the government would convene the creditors, the unions, the shareholders and the company’s management, and apportion a share of the hit to each of them. If that “consensus building” sounds a lot like the role of the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry in the 1970s and the 1980s, well, it is.

To promote the Japanese car industry on the way up, the trade ministry nudged companies toward consolidation, and even tried to mandate which parts of the market each could go into. (Soichiro Honda, the founder of the company, rebelled when bureaucrats told him he was supposed to limit himself to making motorcycles.) By the 1980s, Congress was denouncing this as “industrial policy,” and arguing that it put American makers at a competitive disadvantage — and polluted free enterprise.

Now, it is Congress doing exactly that, but this time as emergency surgery. Other nations will doubtless complain, or begin doing the same for their own companies. “We’re at this moment in history, in which the Chinese are touting that their system is better than ours” with their mix of capitalism and state control, said Mr. Garten, who has long experience in Asia. “And our response, it looks like, is to begin replicating what they’ve been doing.”

The rest of the world has already proved that in the long run “nationalized” industries do worse than private ones. But, of course, the essence of science is the ability to duplicate results, proving the correctness of a theory.

Looks like we’re about to try to prove (reprove? improve?) the laws of economics…. as if they needed proof.


Dec 09 2008

Obama: not born in Bethlehem

Category: Obamaharmonicminer @ 9:03 am

Court: No review of Obama’s eligibility to serve – Yahoo! News

The Supreme Court has turned down an emergency appeal from a New Jersey man who says President-elect Barack Obama is ineligible to be president because he was a British subject at birth. The court did not comment on its order Monday rejecting the call by Leo Donofrio of East Brunswick, N.J., to intervene in the presidential election.

At least one other appeal over Obama’s citizenship remains at the court. Philip J. Berg of Lafayette Hill, Pa., argues that Obama was born in Kenya, not Hawaii as Obama says and Hawaii officials have confirmed.

Does anybody know of any reason why Obama doesn’t simply authorize the Hawaii authorities to release the original birth certificate for public viewing and examination? Wouldn’t it be better to just put this to rest in a completely transparent way, instead of playing the court technicality game?


Dec 09 2008

If it comes from a pig, it’s pork

Category: Congress,economy,Obamaharmonicminer @ 2:03 am

Obama: Days of ‘pork … as a strategy’ are over –

“You know, the days of just pork coming out of Congress as a strategy, those days are over.”

Except that the unprecedentedly HUGE public works plans our president-elect has are one big giant piece of pork. “Pork” usually means things tacked onto a bill by a legislator to get some money back into his or her home district or state. But who needs “extra pork”, when the main bill is going to bring a multi-billion dollar project into the home district?

I’d love to be a fly on the wall in the Democrat caucus, as legislators have fist fights over who gets the most money. Just imagine: the Dick Durbin Memorial Wind Farm, the Barbara Boxer Interstate Canal, the Harry Reid Interstate Canal (it’s named something different in each state, you see), the Chris Dodd Dam and Real Estate Office, and my personal favorite, the Barack Obama Solar Power Generating Station and National Park (haven’t you always wanted to camp next to a huge solar power converter?).

Forget that “other white meat” stuff.  They’ll all be eatin’ pretty high on the hog.

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